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End of the Introductory Period

Having surprised and taken Sparta, Antigonus treated the citizens with magnanimity and humanity; and after reestablishing their ancient constitution, he left the town in a few days, on receiving intelligence that the Illyrians had invaded Macedonia and were laying waste the country. This was a instance of the fantastic way in which Fortune decides the most important matters. For if Cleomenes had only put off the battle for a few days, or if when he returned to Sparta he had only held out for a brief space of time, he would have saved his crown.

As it was, Antigonus after going to Tegea and restoring

Death of Antigonus Doson, B. C. 220.
its constitution, arrived on the second day at Argos, at the very time of the Nemean games. Having at this assembly received every mark of immortal honour and glory at the hands of the Achaean community, as well as of the several states, he made all haste to reach Macedonia. He found the Illyrians still in the country, and forced them to give him battle, in which, though he proved entirely successful, he exerted himself to such a pitch in shouting encouragement to his men, that he ruptured a bloodvessel, and fell into an illness which terminated shortly in his death. He was a great loss to the Greeks, whom he had inspired with good hopes, not only by his support in the field, but still more by his character and good principles. He left the kingdom of Macedonia to Philip, son of Demetrius.

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